Expedia launches a new tool to check coronavirus travel restrictions

Expedia launches a new tool to check coronavirus travel restrictions
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As more people get vaccinated against the coronavirus and spring weather coaxes people outside, we’re all thinking about those travel plans we shelved last summer. But with COVID-19 travel restrictions varying by country and by state in the US, it’s difficult to figure out what’s safe and what the latest rules are. Expedia Group — whose online travel agent (OTA) websites include Expedia, Vrbo, Travelocity, Hotels.com, and others — has created a tool to help travelers plan trips while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions at their destinations.

“Right now, many people are considering booking trips as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, but at the same time, they’re inundated with conflicting information about where and how they can safely travel,” Stacey Symonds, Expedia’s senior director of experience insights, said in an email to The Verge. The company says 1.6 million travelers participated in a pilot of its COVID-19 Travel Advisor back in November.

To use the Travel Advisor tool, enter your departure and arrival airports and your travel dates, and it will tell you whether restrictions are in place, what the quarantine policy is, whether you need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and the mask policy at your destination and upon your return.

Travel Advisor shows the COVID-19 restrictions for a May 8th trip from Boston to Toronto.

In its latest guidance dated April 2nd, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends US travelers delay travel until they’re fully vaccinated. Once you’re vaccinated, the CDC says you can travel safely within the US and don’t need to self-quarantine before or after your trip. Fully vaccinated travelers don’t need to get tested before or after their trips unless required at their destination. The CDC notes that any passengers entering the US, including returning US citizens, are required to have proof of recovery from COVID-19 infection or a negative COVID-19 test result.

As of this writing, Americans are still banned from travel to many destinations, particularly in Europe. The New York Times compiled a list of countries that allowed American visitors as of April 1st, and the CDC has a map showing where travel may be especially risky due to the coronavirus.


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